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So I am pretty new to building engines and i have a 79 302 block that i am putting gt40 heads on. When I go to tighten down the rocker arms, the bolt bottoms out while the rocker is still loose. I got all the valvetrain from the machine shop that I bought the heads from and they’re no help. Could it be a pushrod issue? Am I using the wrong length bolts? I am using pedestal mount rockers.
 

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I believe your '79 block was one of those years that the 302 had the raised deck height so that may be part of the problem. Also, the GT40 heads were used on roller cam engines so there is no "factory length" pushrod for your combination.
 

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You want pushrods for a 302 from 78 to mid 80's with a flat tappet cam.

I believe the 79 302 returned to the more normal 8.200" deck height since Ford was using those awful 69cc heads where as the earlier motors with the smaller chamber heads had a raised deck to keep compression low. Deck height was 8.228".
 
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